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Colombia: Further information on fear for safety / apparent extrajudicial execution / "disappearance"

, Index number: AMR 23/068/1996

Juan David Lopez Herrero (37), mechanic, and new names: Luis Angel Guerra (40), Hernando Restrepo (55): There continues to be serious concern for the safety of the civilian population of Zaragoza, department of Antioquia, following the apparent extrajudicial executions of Luis Angel Guerra and Hernando Restrepo on 1 December 1996 by a paramilitary group. Juan David Lopez Herrero remains "disappeared".

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 23/68/96
11 December 1996
Further information on UA 181/96 (AMR 23/41/96, 19 July 1996) - Fear for Safety
/ Apparent Extrajudicial Execution / "Disappearance"
COLOMBIAJuan David LÓPEZ HERRERO, aged 37, mechanic
New names: Luis Angel GUERRA, aged 40
Hernando RESTREPO, aged 55
Amnesty International continues to be seriously concerned for the safety of
the civilian population in the municipality of Zaragoza, department of
Antioquia, following the apparent extrajudicial executions of Luis Angel Guerra
and Hernando Restrepo on 1 December 1996 by a paramilitary group.
According to information received, at approximately 7.15am three heavily armed
members of a paramilitary group travelling in a truck forced their way into
the house of Luis Angel Guerra and killed him. The paramilitary group then
made its way to the house of Hernando Restrepo, knocked at the door and shot
him dead when he opened it. Reportedly a third person was also killed following
a gun fight.
The killings took place close to the local police station, yet it seems that
no attempt was made by the security forces to intervene and detain the
paramilitary group.
These killings have heightened concern for the safety of the civilian population
of the municipality of Zaragoza given that, following the killings detailed
in the previous Urgent Action, the paramilitary group responsible threatened
to return to the area to kill other people named on "death lists" in their
possession who they had been unable to locate. Paramilitary groups operating
with the support of the security forces often compile lists of people they
consider guerrilla sympathizers or collaborators. Those named on such lists
often subsequently become the victims of human rights violations including
extrajudicial executions and "disappearances".
As far as Amnesty International is aware, Juan David López Herrero remains
"disappeared". Appeals may continue on his behalf.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern at the apparent extrajudicial executions of Luis
Angel Guerra and Hernando Restrepo on 1 December 1996 in the municipality of
Zaragoza, department of Antioquia;
- calling for prompt, full and impartial investigation, for the results to
be made public and those responsible to be brought to justice;
- expressing concern for the safety of members of the civilian population of
the municipality of Zaragoza in the light of continued paramilitary activity,
and asking what measures where taken in response to earlier appeals;
- calling for immediate measures to guarantee the safety of the civilian
population of the municipality of Zaragoza;
if possible also:
- urge that there be full and impartial investigations into links between the
security forces and paramilitary groups operating in the municipality of
Zaragoza and that those members of the security forces responsible for
supporting such groups be brought to justice;
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- urge that the Colombian authorities take immediate action to dismantle
paramilitary groups operating in the area of Zaragoza. Such a move would be
in line with the governmental commitments to dismantle paramilitary groups.
APPEALS TO:
1) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Samper, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 289 3377/286 7434
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Samper
2) Governor of Antioquia
Sr. Alvaro Uribe Velez
Gobernador del Departamento de Antioquia
Gobernación de Antioquia
Calle 42B, # 52-106
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Telegrams:Gobernador, Departamento de Antioquia, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador/Dear Governor
3) Minister of the Interior
Dr. Horacio Serpa Uribe
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8a, No.8-09, Piso 7
Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministro del Interior Serpa, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:45406 MINGO CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 286 6524/ 286 0053/ 286 0485
Salutation:Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
4) Minister of Defence
Dr. Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Ministro de Defensa, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Fax:+ 57 1 222 1874/288 4906
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Alternative Legal Association
SEMBRAR
AA 34692
Santafé de Bogotá
Colombia
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia accredited to your country.
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PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 January 1997.

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